I’m reading a book right now–well, actually I’m in the middle of about four books, but this particular one is called 30,000 Teachers, by Faith Fitt. It’s a true story about a woman who, after a difficult break-up, moves to China as a teacher and to share the love of God.
I’m in another period of waiting on my writing career. I’m doing all the things–working on the next project, reading craft books and editing accordingly, keeping up with blogs and newsletters, pushing myself on social media, reading and promoting other friends’ works, lining up speaking gigs, and so on, doing all the things that are in my power to push myself to the next level as an author, but not everything is within my control.
I still have to wait on agents and editors to either accept or reject my work, and mostly it’s reject. I still have to wait on my critique partners’ schedules before I can polish things. I still have to find the right fit for myself and my work.
And it’s frustrating. It’s frustrating to get a constant stream of rejections, to watch the pools dry up and not know where to submit next.
Amidst that, there are the personal struggles, of living on one paycheck, of having older cars that break down, of trying to be healthy, of trying to raise five kids into productive members of society, of trying to keep my house from looking like a disaster area, of trying to squeeze in all the writing-related things in between all the other life things.
And it’s frustrating.
There are many times I’ve cried out to God, screaming about how it’s all so unfair.
And then I read this book, about the struggles that are happening in the rest of the world. People who don’t have enough to eat, enough to wear, who have to hide their faith, who get arrested and abused for believing in God, who have to work all day every day, including weekends, just to feed their families.
And I am ashamed. Ashamed of taking for granted the blessed life I have been given. Ashamed for complaining about the unfairness in my situation. Ashamed for not trusting that God knows what’s going on, that He has my best in mind, that His timing will always be better than mind.
The goal of the book is not to shame you into doing something different. The book is sharing an experience. It’s a good read and I highly recommend it.
For me, though, it’s a reminder. A reminder that God is in my struggles. God is in my failures and my frustrations. A reminder that I am blessed, even when I don’t feel like it. A reminder that my struggles are here for a purpose. A reminder to allow my frustrations to draw me closer to God, more dependent on Him.
My shame is not in the fact that I haven’t given up this life to go to China. That is not my calling. I am not supposed to be in China or anywhere else. I’m not ashamed of my life of the many blessings I have. This is the life I have been given, this is the place and the time and the country I was placed in for a purpose.
I am a writer. Specifically, a fiction writer. That is the gift I have been given, the calling that is on my life. I’m not ashamed of that. Only of my attitude. My sense of entitlement. My feeling that I deserve more, better, different than what I have. I am reminded to do all my work as to the Lord. To keep pressing forward, doing the best I can, doing my part, and trusting that God has me and my future well in hand.